By Omolola Pedro
The Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, has said that the Federal Government is making plans to stop parents from using their children or wards for manual labour on their farms. This was disclosed during the inauguration of the Initiative for Climate Action Transparency (ICAT) Project Steering Committee and commissioning of the project consultants, which was held in Abuja. Speaking at the inauguration ceremony, in a statement signed by Olajide Osundun, Director of Press and Public Relations in the Ministry of Labour and Employment, he urged the committee to synergise with his ministry in order to achieve plans for the eradication of child labour, especially on farms.
He also called for more support from foreign bodies, for climate change action to boost the country’s economy, while describing labour as very important in fulfilling Nigeria’s international commitments to climate change action, including the Paris Agreement, and the achievement of its energy transition plan. The minister stated that the world was attempting to reduce hydrocarbon pollution and that the ministry had taken the lead in crystallising its ambition to be a part of the global world initiative. “I approved the project for the ministry, domiciled it under the Department of Special Duties and Projects, and formed a steering committee with five directors and the Director-General of the National Directorate of Employment (NDE), to represent the ministry in this high-level discussion”, he said. The minister noted further that his ministry coordinates the project, working in a compartmentalised mode, but synergising with the Federal Ministry of Environment, “which is the lead ministry on climate change initiatives’’.
He, however, called for expansion of the committee to get more organisations like the Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA), and Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), among others. He expressed optimism that the overall outcome of the project would support policymakers in setting up everything that would be needed on the transition journey on climate, especially with the implementation of the Paris Agreement and Nigeria’s energy transition plan. He said that Nigeria must also be able to feed itself, adding that an appreciable progress had been made in agriculture since President Muhammadu Buhari assumed office in 2015, making it possible for many Nigerians to consume locally-produced rice, beans, and potatoes, among others, as he commended the Director, International Centre for Automotive Technology (ICAT), Dr. Henning Wuester, for his immense support towards the project.